BoJo’s TikTok Debut Trolled as Users Seek ‘Hairstyle & Party-Planning Tips,’ Urge PM to 'Resign'
14:02 GMT 12.05.2022 (Updated: 15:19 GMT 28.05.2023)
© Photo : TikTok /screenshotBoris Johnson joined TikTok
© Photo : TikTok /screenshot
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared on Tik-Tok on Wednesday with a 40-second clip to launch his own new account on the popular video-based platform, racking up more than 500,000 views in a few hours.
Boris Johnson’s debut appearance on TikTok, designed to widen his appeal with the British public, seemed to have backfired on Wednesday.
In his 40-second video, posted on the immensely popular video-based platform used primarily by the under-thirties, the UK Prime Minister called on Britons to “tune in to No 10 TikTok".
He promised “behind-the-scenes” information about the Government’s policies and agenda.
“You will have all sorts of stuff about what we’re doing to deliver on our priorities, deliver for you on our agenda of uniting and levelling up our country,” he said in the short clip.
He added that on TikTok users would be privy to “all sorts of messages and content” they would not find on other platforms.
He even cracked a joke, saying “you won’t necessarily catch me dancing", although it's uncertain whether he was referring to the plethora of dance challenges which regularly pepper TikTok, the clip of Hugh Grant dancing around No 10 when he played the prime minister in 'Love Actually', or a nod to a clip of Johnson on the dancefloor while he was London Mayor which went viral.
In the clip, which resurfaced in January, Johnson dances with a woman holding a light sabre, like those seen in the 'Star Wars' movie franchise.
It could also have been a reference to the famous boogie moves to Abba’s 'Dancing Queen' by his predecessor Theresa May at the 2018 Conservative Party Conference.
However, although racking up more than 500,000 views and tens of thousands of followers within hours, the comments section erupted in merciless ridicule.
From asking for “hairstyle” advice to inquiring about party-planning tips, a not-so-subtle invocation of the “partygate” row, Tiktok users ruthlessly mocked the PM.
12 May 2022, 09:19 GMT
Many asked the PM when and if he intended to resign after, together with his wife Carrie and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, he was fined by the Metropolitan Police over a surprise birthday party for him in the Cabinet Room in June 2020 that was ruled to have breached COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
There were comments asking, “When are you resigning?” One user wrote, “Can you do a packing video for when you move out?”
TikTok fans asked for a tour of Johnson’s newly refurbished flat which had sparked controversy over its funding in what became known as “wallpapergate".
Others ripped into Johnson over his Government’s handling of the cost of living crisis.
One user wrote that the country was “going into recession”, yet the Government had “set up a TikTok to help us”.
“People are dying from not being able to afford gas, electric and food and the constant price rises of EVERYTHING!!” read one furious comment.
Someone asked whether Boris Johnson could do a TikTok on how “people on low income can manage with the higher cost in living”.
“Cheers Boris, nan’s doing cartwheels to keep warm,” was the sardonic quip from another, in a reference to the Government’s tips on how to keep warm in the face of rocketing energy bills.
A No10 spokesman said: “This is simply another way that we are seeking to get the messages about what the government is doing to to level up the country and create jobs to a wider audience - you’ve seen us do that on a variety of social media platforms.”